A few years ago I was looking at a new Yamaha YZF-R6. I looked at the $8000 sticker price and asked the dealer how much he’d sell it for. He said, ‘That’s the price.’ In 2003 I was at the same shop (I had my maintenance done there) and there was a red 2002 YZF-R1 on the floor among the silver and blue 2003s. Not only were the 2003s discounted about $500 from MSRP and the 2002 discounted $1,000, the sticker price was the ‘out-the-door’ price – including taxes, license, dealer prep… everything but insurance and a full tank of gas. The dealership was under new ownership from when I was looking at the R6.
Before that I bought a Yamaha XJ600. My g/f at the time liked it and wanted one of her own. We looked all over L.A., and no dealer would sell it below MSRP. We went up to the dealer in Lancaster (Tom Horton – ‘A peach of a guy’) who had taked $500 off the MSRP when I got my Seca. He also gave my g/f $500 off.
It really depends on the dealer, location and demand. Some dealers will deal. But in my experience they are a rare breed and the vast majority of dealers won’t. Bikes with a certain cachet, like the Triumph or a Harley Davidson or a Ducati, are probably seen more as ‘luxury items’ than a HYKS. But even those are seen as toys and not necessities.